Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

246 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 246
Hads: 1,032
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.53%
Wants: 443
Gots: 137 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jerz on 12-14-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 246 | Hads: 1,032
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rather dark for a dipa, usually the best ones tend to be in the orange, vein, but this one here was best described as brown. Looked good though. Amazing aroma, plinyesque to say the least. Swirling hop varieties in a massive dry hop, even some good malt aroma of caramel comes through.

Great taste, low bitterness, hides the alcohol quite well, you really start to feel it though (not taste) as you get towards the end of a bomber of these. Lots of pine without the bitterness, same for the pineapple. Such a smooth mouthfeel to the beer.

Extremely highly recommended. A must for any self proclaimed hop head. Especially the one dimensional ones. This one is unique enough to expand some palates who don't like anything but big hops. (737 characters)

Photo of nkersten
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured gently from bottle into LA tumbler. A bright amber orange with a small off white head that fades to a collar with good lacing. Smell is malty and grassy, lots of pineapple and tropical fruits. Taste is an amazing balance of sweet fruity hops and equally sweet malt flavors. Strawberries, slightly bitter, a bit of alcohol, tropical fruit and pineapple. Medium bodied and a medium light carbonation. This is an amazing beer, one of the best balanced double IPAs i have ever had. The hop and malt flavors meld perfectly together, this is what a balanced IPA should taste like. The 10% is pretty well hidden too... Overall a very solid beer. (645 characters)

Photo of vacax
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Knuckle Sandwich pours out into my chalice with a light amber color, so it would appear to be fairly malt balanced. Cream colored head caps the top, just under two fingers in height, plus decent retention and lacing.

The nose knows none of this malt balance nonsense, and with appropriate West Coast Double IPA gusto it screams of pine needles, grapefruit, and a touch of pineapple. Tastes of high octane hop bomb, loaded up with pine, flora, unripe oranges. Moderate to intense bittering on the midpalate along with "triple" IPA flavors of alcohol and hops combining into one seamless beast. Finish is floral with a bit of lingering cookielike sweetness, which is the only malt in the experience beyond the color.

I feel I can safely say this is an exceptional example of the style. Medium to heavy in body, but a crisp prickly carbonation balances it out properly. Outstanding beer worthy of being talked about. (915 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/8/2011

Bottle picked up at Olive Tree and poured into a snifter. When I had this on tap I wasn't able to spend as much time with it as I would have liked, so I'm eager to revisit it. This bottle is as fresh as the night is young.

A: Deep orangish amber, much darker than a typical Southern California Double IPA. Big frothy beige head had good retention and scattered lacing.

S: This smells a lot like Hopslam. It has a similar marriage of caramel, grapefruit, and perfumy pine. There's a light candied sweetness that gives the impression of candied caramel citrus. Hell of a nose.

T: The flavor is also awesome, but not quite as good as the nose. Lots of caramel, grapefruit, orange, and pine, with a smooth moderate bitterness and a decided sugary character. Again, the sugary malt is not at all characteristic of the Southern California interpretation of the style, but the beer is undeniably great. This is essentially a Midwestern style Double IPA. Alcohol is deftly hidden for the high ABV.

M: Medium in body with nice carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: An exceptional beer. If you're expecting a San Diego Pale Ale, you won't find it here, but you will find a high quality Midwest style Double IPA. This is the closest thing to Hopslam that I've ever tasted, and I can't decide which I prefer. Highly recommended. (1,347 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

had on tap at the tasting room. Only enough time and sobriety for a halfpint of one beer, so I had to go with this. It only seemed logical. Amber and sexily foamed up above the cloudiness. Aromas popping high into the air. I wave my whiskers from above, peering into the beer's soul. Grapefruit and sticky pine. The resins dominate, with some sweet malt and a little alcohol. It's exceptionally drinkable, truly it is. The balance is excellent between the sweet malts and the titanic hop presence. Big bitterness up front cut into by the malt sweetness, followed up with waves of hopgasms. Resinous, sensual, yes, delicious. Perhaps one day I shall return, Bootlegger's. (670 characters)

Photo of ottovon
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

shared a bomber with whiterascal

A: pours out a coppery red, with a fluffy, off-white head.

S: the smell is pretty amazing. a lot of hop in the nose. it is citrusy and very fruity. it has a lot of pineapple.

T: it has a lot of citrus and pineapple from the hops. i get some caramel from the malt as well. a little bready-ness.

M: it is pretty smooth. a medium-thin body with low carbonation.

D: i could drink this all night long. You can not tell the abv at all. (471 characters)

Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Bootlegger's tasting room. No frills. Just beer. In mason jars.

Pours a rich copper. They fill their mason jars to the brim, so there wasn't much room for head. No complaints there.

Lemons, oranges, pine needles. Very fresh and inviting.

Goes right along with the taste. At 10% I didn't get much warmth, but the malt backbone supports the heavy hops.

Medium-full bodied. Dry.

An IPA that will stand with the best. I wish they still put this into growlers. (467 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber (2012) into dimple mug glass. This beer pours dark amber orange with a nice off-white pillow-y head. The nose was very nice where I picked up tons of cirtrusy notes – grape fruit, sweet malts. The taste was extremely smooth, massive grapefruit and a two punch malt-hop character. There was a nice hoppy and piney flavor to it as well. The high ABV was dangerously masked. Sweet malt backbone to balance the grapefruit and hop bitterness.This is a beer I would love to have any time! (503 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured (last night 3-8-11) into a New Belgium snifter

A - a cloudy blood orange, 1 finger off white head and nice lacing

S - grapefruit, huge citrus hop, pine, sap, sweet malt, bong resin, Oaked bourbon, fresh mango, pineapple, some orange, beautiful hops and sweetness. A really friendly bitterness. Man this is awesome

T - the alcohol is up front, but it's so nice. Hops galore. Sweet malt, beautiful citrus fruits, especially grapefruit, very nice floral. Such a balanced beer

M - light, fluffy, carbonated, sweetness sticks around, coats the mouth in beautiful ipa glory

D - for the hop head and hop scared alike. Very nice, easy to drink and even easier to enjoy!

Final thought - The price is high @ $6.49, but it is so excellent. Can't say a bad thing about this beer! (786 characters)

Photo of scottyshades
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to mrmiles for this extra bomber

A: Pours a deep garnet color with a small fluffy white cap. The head and the retention is decent given the ABV

S: If I could give this a 6 I would...exactly what I love in IPAs. Lots of sweet pineapple juice, mango, blood orange, apricot, pear, and other orchard fruits. So damn awesome. Malts do a lot in terms of balancing, also adding some caramel sweetness.

T: Sweet tropical fruit...whoever mentioned candied pineapple hit the nail on the head. Also candied mango. Lots of residual sugar on top of sweet tropical/citrus fruit, on top of sweet caramel from the malts. Alcohol is very warming, but not really a problem. Well balanced- sweetness with hops.

MF/D: Viscous, sweet, and smooth. Easy to drink despite the ABV. Do not recommend taking a bomber down by yourself...which is what I am attempting, hence my 4 rating for drink

Notes: Really solid offering from a brewery I've never tried or even heard of...But definitely will be ISO their beers in the future. (1,017 characters)

Photo of JeffBob
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from tap at Bootleggers brewery into a beer glass.
A Great 1/2 inch of foam
S aroma of fantastic hoppy piney sweetness.
T At first bitter hops then sweetness hits you fading away to a nice bitter hop aftertaste.
M bitter dry and smooth
O just fantastic this beer ruined most IPA's for me. (301 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured from a bomber into pint glass. Deep deep copper appearance (this is a "pale" ale?). Not a whole lot of head.

S: Caramel with background of citrus.

T: Very malt-forward for an IPA with caramel-sweet malts & orange/floral hops. Good carbonation, and hop bitterness lasts but the sweetness does also.

M: Medium mouthfeel, not too heavy.

O: I really like this, but not sure how old the bottle is - there's no bottle date or "Best by" at all. I'm wondering if it has some age on it & the hop flavor has been diminished somewhat? I would be very interested in trying a bottle I knew to be very fresh Overall still excellent either way, thoroughly enjoyed it. (668 characters)

Photo of Zhiguli
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In the long list of big hops on the West Coast this one got it really right for me. It's bested only by very very few others for me.. ( maybe 2 or 3)

It has the required huge aroma, great hop profile, a good bitterness. But what makes me fall in love with it is the balance of hop to malt. The spectrum runs the gamut from dry to really malty and as with all things subjective we all have our sweet spot and this one is right there. Just enough malt to provide a great backbone, just enough juicy sweetness without going overboard.

Mouthfeel and carbonation is also right in the range I love.

What a fantastic DIPA, glad to have finally tried it, and look forward to more and more. A growler would do me really well. (721 characters)

Photo of biglobo8971
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cant say enough good things. If you like a sweet DIPA with a hop bite, this is the beer for you. Thank you Beerdsy. Everything melds beautifully. You taste the sweetness of orange and have very little bite or after bite from the hops presence. Would mos def recommend this beer to any one looking for a hop forward beer, who is looking for more than malt sweetness. (365 characters)

Photo of MikeytotheB
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Across the bored a great DIPA! Pretty color, nice head. Great pine, and pineapple notes on the nose. Taste follows suit with the pine and pineaple and many floral notes. If this were easily accesible for me it would be on the top of my list for must haves all the time! (269 characters)

Photo of chickencoop
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Green Jug for always having Bootleggers, and this recomendation, as well as the closest place besides WF-Santa Clarita that serves my Bottleggers fix from Oakland. On with the beer. Deep amber pour, big and sweet citrus on the smell and taste. The taste is smooth, get's a little more boozy as it warms but way to drinkable at 10%. great beer, need more.

update 1-7-11; one of the most consistant DIPA's out there. (425 characters)

Photo of aknight
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a malty dark copper, or light brown if you will. The head grows to a finger or so and never really disappears. The smell is of faint citrus and MASSIVE pineapple. Seriously, I think someone spilled a can of Dole in here. There is definite pineapple on the pallet. There are a truckload of hops in here, there's a truckload of malt too. This is just a MASSIVE DIPA any way you look at it. A nice malty DIPA. Not as malty as some but maltier than us West Coasters typically like them.

This is another great DIPA from California. Maltier than most out here but if a malty DIPA was done this well who am I to disagree? (621 characters)

Photo of pjkelley82
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this (along with other dipa's) at a East VS. West Dipa Head to Head Showdown I hosted on 8/27/13

Got this one via trade... a great beer...

Round 2 East DFH 90 West Knuckle Sandwich

Overall I picked 90 over this one but this was no easy battle. Quite honestly this was the hardest choice of all the rounds... it was a split decision with 90 winning appearance and mouthfeel but not by much.. color for me went to ks along with taste and smell. Ks was a hell of a lot smoother and easy going with a nice juicy feel to it. I'm glad I have a little left over to enjoy abooouuuut... now! Ks placed 8th of 10 (609 characters)

Photo of Celtics17
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

So many flavors come through. Without a doubt one of the best Double/Triple/Imperial IPA's I've had. I get the normal sweetness, and tropical fruit with a bite of grapefruit. I also get a nice hint of vanilla coming though. (223 characters)

Photo of Gpartnoff
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Phenominal beer. The hype on it was on point. It's a go to double IPA. Glad it's local, got mine at seagate liquor in Hb. They have over 400 craft caguamas. (156 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice bright clear amber color with a slight ruby tone. Nice frothy tan head with decent retention and lacing.

Amazing nose. Very nice sweet citrussy notes including orange peel and sweet ruby red grapefruit.

Amazing balanced flavor. Excellent sugary malt character on the back end supporting the great citrus and floral hop notes. Very nice aftertaste like a grapefruit-sugar brulee.

Nice full bodied mouthfeel that is creamy yet a tad tacky coating the entire palate. Good carbonation.

Overall this is one of the beat DIPAs out there. The nose is Perfect. The flavor is amazing and So Well Balanced. We need more hop production so we can get more of this stuff made! (684 characters)

Photo of BrantleyJ
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! I was pleasantly surprised by this DIPA. I picked up a few bottles from my local grocer after hearing good things about it. The hop aroma is intoxicating. If I could create an air freshener for my truck that smelled as good as Knuckle Sandwich I would. It tasted a good as it smelled, and surprisingly drinkable for a 10% beer. (332 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to StonedRaider for another outstanding trade! Pours a beautiful golden amber with a thick white head. Decent retention with nice lacing. Aroma of peaches, tropical fruit notes, whiff of citrus, with a hint of cat pee. Bitter throughout the palate with lots of peach, pine resin and caramel notes from the solid malt backbone. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, a very underrated DIPA, outstanding fruity bitterness. Great job Bootleggers! (461 characters)

Photo of SDtastentune
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark amber orange yellow, good lace, good head but I pour it slow!

S - Citrus zesty hops, dank pine, kushy??

T - Citus & some hops, more zesty and balanced grapefruit kinda fruits but has a great manageable aftertaste

M - Medium to more carbonation, I like that though. Great balance with a not over the top aftertate surprises me for a 10% DIPA

D - I think this drinks easy for a 10% DIPA, But very flavorful and rich, reminds me of an Islander IPA from Coronado brewing. Thumbs WAY up for a brewery doing it right outta nowhere! (538 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Masterski (Alex) for providing this surprise in a recent trade. Alex is a stellar trading partner.

First thing I have to say is that as I popped the bottle I got a blast of the aroma. Fantastic. And no, I didn't open the bottle with my nose near the opening. Very fragrant, floral, fresh and plenty of grapefruit coming through.

A thin finger plus head stays for just a short while and settles to a think cap. The beer is a very bright and clear copper/amber color with no visible carbonation. An unexpected amount of lacing for the head that developed. There were sheets of lace lining the glass.

Wow, excellent DPA. While this is a hop focused beer, there is a great balance here. The malt backbone is fantastic. Big fruit flavors with plenty of tropical notes. There is a sense of the alcohol, but again the balance is spot on. Doesn't feel like a 10% abv. This is a top notch DPA. I get a note of honey in the finish. The aftertaste is also fantastic.

The carbonation is almost like a cask conditioned beer. The feel is very smooth and just wonderful. I am falling in love with this beer as I work my way through the bottle.

Phenomenal Beer (1,163 characters)

Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.